Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1). With these words Jesus gave his disciples a prayer to speak which we now know as the Lord’s Prayer. The season of Lent is a time set aside through many centuries of Christian practice to devote time to prayer and reading scripture and serving the needs of our neighbors.
This year for Lent, I will be leading a class called “Conversations with God: Talking and Listening in Prayer.” There is no book to purchase or to read. Each week we will explore different ways to pray and have time to try new ways to be in conversation with God. Participants will need to read scripture and answer some questions before each gathering.
The first week we will take a close look at the Lord’s Prayer and consider how it can become a model for our personal prayers as well as the power of one prayer said by many voices. In the following weeks we will explore new ways to speak prayers and how to make space for prayer throughout our days. We will also consider ways in which we can listen to God in prayer, the harder part for us in conversing with God.
At this time, I plan to explore praying a labyrinth, by walking or by tracing a labyrinth with a finger one week. Another week we will talk about prayer beads and the many ways they can help us focus as we pray. We will also talk about personal prayer ministry, how we can be interceding for others and how we can approach others with the offer of prayer. Another session will help us pray with scripture. The order is not yet set and may change as questions arise and interests develop in the group.
There will be one class each Sunday in March held in the afternoon so those who do not wish to be out at night and those who are committed to teaching in the morning can all experience this together. Since some of our time together will be spent practicing what we discuss, we will meet for 90 minutes each week. In order to not conflict with nursing home worship services, we will meet from 3:30-5:00. (Remember that we return to daylight savings time March 8 so it will be light each week as we finish.)
In order to plan you will need to register in advance for the class. You don’t have to come each week, so let the office know if you plan to join the group and any dates you know you will not be able to join us. This Lent, make a commitment to learn from Jesus and from one another as we ask “Lord, teach us to pray.”